How can one ever know one’s limits – unless they are tested?
I went to fitness this morning – and it turned out to be more like “stretching class” for me. I had good intentions. We started on the step with cardio. I quickly realized that it was too hot, I was too tired, and … something was very wrong. I stopped to catch my breath. There was to be no step class today.
So, Vandie (my friend and personal trainer so-to-speak) flipped the class to pilates. “I can do this,” thought I. No worries. Out came the mats, the hand weights, and the ring. Leg work-out? No problem. Chest flies? No problem. Sit ups? Ummm. Sort of. Wait. No. No sit-ups. Okay, one. That’s it.
“How be we do some stretching?” asked Vandie.
“Okay, I think that’s a good idea.”
Ummm. Nope. Suddenly, I felt very nauseated. “I’m just going to rest, Vandie.”
“Stacey, you do what you can. It’s just good to keep moving – no matter how much.”
I tried to lift the pilates balls – my arms shook too much.
I tried to lift my legs – my body didn’t cooperate.
So, I lay down and stretched.
I quickly realized that today would not be an active day. What I need to remember is that I have low red blood count and no matter how hard I push, I cannot just, “get over” it. There is no working through the pain. There is no such thing as “no pain, no gain” when it comes to chemo-related fatigue. Red blood cells matter. And I think I’m low today.
I didn’t cry. I wasn’t upset like I was the last time this happened. I was okay with my fatigue. At least I made it to Vandie’s.
“Good for you, Stacey, for getting through,” Vandie encouraged me.
“Good for, you, Stacey, for getting out,” said Carol, admitting how illness can be isolating if you don’t get out.
“Good for me, Stacey,” I confessed to myself. I was kind to myself.
I am being kind to myself today.
I went back to bed. Today – isn’t going to be an active day. Tomorrow – may be a whole new story. I know I need to recover so that I can face my final chemo. And I will. I need to prepare and it is not the way that “I” choose. It is the way my “body” tells me to prepare. I must listen.
I would never have known my limit today, if I had not tested it. It took me less than 1435 steps to realize – I had run my own marathon already. And that’s good enough for today.